REP. AMI BERA INTRODUCES THE GRID CYBERSECURITY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT
Washington, DC – Rep. Ami Bera (D–CA) has introduced the Grid Cybersecurity Research and Development Act of 2017 aimed to bolster existing cybersecurity infrastructure, address emerging issues such as workforce training, and enhance the coordination between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.
Following troubling reports that Russia has developed a cyberweapon that can disrupt power grids and that hackers have successfully penetrated nuclear power plant cybersecurity, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a rare warning that “sophisticated hackers are targeting energy and industrial firms,” presenting a threat to the electrical grid and other public infrastructure. The DHS and FBI also warned that key nuclear, energy, aviation, water, and manufacturing sites have been targeted as far back as May 2017.
“The safety and stability of our energy grid is a critical national security issue,” said Rep. Bera. “Safe, secure production and transmission of electricity fuels our economy and provides power to our schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and first responders. Ensuring that we protect our public and private infrastructure and have the resources to defend ourselves is essential.”
The Grid Cybersecurity Research and Development Act would reauthorize funding for the Department of Energy’s Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems account. The bill requires an Interagency Strategic Plan to advance cyber capabilities for the electricity sector, increases access and use of test facilities, and authorizes a comprehensive, coordinated R&D effort between the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation. The bill also has the support of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).